Panthers sweep HCAC doubleheader at Rose-Hulman

Sydney Griffin pitching

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Hanover softball team took an early lead in game one and never looked back as the Panthers swept a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader from Rose-Hulman on the road Wednesday evening. Hanover won 9-3 in the first game and then capped the day with a 3-1 win in game two.

Senior Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) wasted little time extending her hitting streak to 16 games with a lead-off single to open the game. She advanced to third, but would be stranded there.

The Panthers did get on the scoreboard in the second. Sophomore Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) hit a one-out single and then scored on freshman Rachel Cox's (Indianapolis, Ind.) triple to right field for a 1-0 lead.

That lead grew to 2-0 in the third. After the Fightin' Engineers recorded the first two outs on the first two hitters, senior Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.) singled and freshman Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Taylor Merrill (Brownsburg, Ind.) then singled to center to score Powers for the two-run lead.

Rose-Hulman (7-13 overall, 0-6 HCAC) cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth, but following a scoreless fifth inning, Hanover erupted for seven runs in the top of the sixth to make it 9-1. The first run of the inning scored on a one-out, bases-loaded walk to freshman Brittney Ralston (Lexington, Ind.). A ground out on the next play cut down a run at the plate for the second out, but the bases remained loaded. Skutt followed and drove home two with a single to right-center. Powers then added a two-run single of her own, and Merrill drove home the sixth run with a single to center. The final run of the inning scored on the a wild pitch to give the Panthers an eight-run cushion.

The Fightin' Engineers scored a single run in the sixth and another in the seventh, but it wasn't enough to keep Hanover from its first HCAC win of the season. 

Freshman Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) earned the complete-game win. Beurman went seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts to win for the fourth time this spring. Skutt and Merrill had three hits, a run scored, and two RBI each. Powers and Edington had two hits apiece with Powers scoring once and driving in two and Edington also scoring a run.

Like the first game, Hanover scored the first two runs of game two. Skutt made it a 17-game hitting streak as she led off with a double this time. Skutt would then move to third on a single by senior McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.) and score on a single to center by Edington.

Writt drove in the second run of the game in the second inning with an RBI single to center field to score freshman Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.), who had singled earlier in the inning. 

Both teams would go scoreless for the next three innings, but with two outs in the top of the sixth, Skutt scored Smith from third base with a run-scoring hit to center to push the lead to 3-0. 

Rose-Hulman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, but that would be the only run scored off junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.). Griffin tossed a complete-game of her own and allowed one run on only three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts for her eighth victory of the year.  

Writt led the way offensively with three hits in four at-bats and an RBI. Skutt and Smith added two hits each. Smith also scored a pair of runs, while Skutt scored once and drove in another. 

Hanover, now 12-12 overall and 2-4 in league action will next return home to host Anderson Sunday, April 15. The doubleheader, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Sunday due to the weather forecast and is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Kops-Bedel Stadium.

Contact: Mike Pritchard